First global drug discovery institute founded in China

Jan 23, 2016 News Writer: Yun Dai News Editor: Hallam Henry

Committed to creating an advanced drug discovery and translational platform, the Institute will contribute to innovative pharmaceutical R&D for developing countries

At a meeting in Davos, Switzerland on January 22nd, Qiu Yong, President of Tsinghua University, and Bill Gates, Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), agreed to co-found the Global Health Drug Discovery Institute (GHDDI) in Beijing, China, and signed a memorandum of understanding.

The Institute will be the first research and development center of its kind in China.

GHDDI (Beijing) will enter into a strategic alliance with the California Institute for Biomedical Research (Calibr). This partnership will help the Institute strengthen its expertise and capacity in translational medicine.

Multi-functions of GHDDI

GHDDI in Beijing aims to create a transformative drug discovery and translational medicine institute for global health with advanced biomedical research and development capabilities.

The institute will tackle major diseases faced by many developing countries, including China.

It will leverage China’s significant talents and R&D capacities, promote international collaborations, and enhance early drug development by bridging global drug discovery innovations with translational developments.

Facilitate reform of pharmaceutical
R&D system in China

The establishment of GHDDI is an important effort by Tsinghua University to advance pharmaceutical research and translational medicine.

President Qiu emphasized that, in parallel with the development of the pharmaceutical sciences, Tsinghua University will leverage its strengths in related disciplines such as chemistry and chemical engineering, material science, medical engineering, and information technology to enhance its overall capabilities in biomedical research.

He also hoped this initiative will facilitate the reform of pharmaceutical R&D system in China and impact global health.

Bill Gates: look forward to partnering with Tsinghua University

“China has made incredible progress in reducing poverty and shares the foundation’s commitment to harnessing advances in science and technology to address the critical health challenges affecting the world’s poorest people,” Bill Gates said.

“We are excited about GHDDI’s potential to drive innovation in global health research and development, and look forward to partnering with Tsinghua University on our continued work to address the world’s most pressing global health challenges.”

More partners welcomed in the future

As co-founding partners of GHDDI (Beijing), Tsinghua University will invest various resources to support the Institute, including talents/scientists, programs, facilities, as well as operation and management, whereas BMGF will provide financial support as well as assistance on institutional development.

GHDDI (Beijing) is expected to build an open and collaborative environment, to attract and work with many more outstanding partners from China and around the globe.

Background Introduction

According to Professor Ding Sheng, the dean of School of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Tsinghua University, the School will collaborate with its partners to assist GHDDI (Beijing) in its future development.

As the Institute’s mission aligns with the development strategy of the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, there will be win-win cooperation in a number of respects, including technology development and translational research innovations, thus fulfilling the common vision of enhancing drug discovery and development to improve global health.